The race for mayor of Keller came down to six votes, according to unofficial Tarrant County election results.
Unless a recount gives Pat McGrail the victory, residents of Keller will vote again for mayor and for City Council Place 6, after no candidates got 50 percent of the vote in those races Saturday, according to unofficial Tarrant County election results.
Former mayor McGrail and current City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Rick Barnes each got almost half of the votes in the race for mayor on Election Day. Longshot Kris Jara received just 56 votes , 1.6 percent of the 3,584 votes,but those votes had a big impact on the race.
Barnes got 1,741 votes, 48.6 percent of the vote, while McGrail received 1,787 votes, 49.9 percent, according to unofficial election results. Had six votes for Barnes or Jara gone to McGrail, he would have won.
In Keller, candidates must receive more than 50 percent of all votes cast in the race to win.
McGrail would have to formally request a recount, but as of Saturday night, the city is expecting to have runoffs in both elections, said Keller spokeswoman Rachel Reynolds.
McGrail could not be reached for comment Saturday night. However, a post on his campaign Facebook page said he was “looking forward to a recount in the next few days.”
Barnes said he was “not expecting a runoff,” but he’s “optimistic to move forward.”
“I thought we had a great campaign and I was really looking forward to serving Keller as its mayor,” Barnes said. “I met with a ton of voters at the polls and had some outstanding conversations, and I know they'll be coming back out to vote.”
Former City Council member Mitch Holmes and newcomers Tag Green, Brenden Leavitt and Ryan Martin were running for City Council Place 6. While Green received the most votes, he, too, fell short of 50 percent.
Green got 47.5 percent of the vote, and Holmes received 34.1 percent. They will face off in the runoff.
Martin received 11.9 percent percent of the vote, and Leavitt got 6.5 percent, according to unofficial results.
Holmes said he expected the runoff because it was a four-way race, and “for me, this race starts now.”
“The main difference between me and my opponent is that throughout the campaign season, I have addressed specific issues with my opinion on each, in an effort to show voters that I intend to bring a new level of transparency to Town Hall,” Holmes said.
Holmes said he looks forward to the rest of the race and congratulated Green, who “carried the clear plurality in his first election.”
Green could not be reached Saturday night.
Past runoff elections for Keller City Council seats have been estimated around $21,000.
Early voting will run from May 30 - June 6, and the runoff election day is set for June 10, according to the city of Keller.
Until the winners are decided in the runoff, the current mayor and Place 6 council member, Mark Mathews and Barnes, respectively, will continue to serve, Mathews said.
The only city of Keller race that had any certainty Saturday was the other expiring council seat, Place 5, where incumbent Bill Hodnett and challenger Christopher Whatley filed for election. Immediately after the deadline to file in February, Hodnett withdrew from the race, leaving Whatley unopposed. Whatley got 100 percent of the 2,345 votes.